Networked Regionalism as Conflict Management
Anna Ohanyan


Contents and Abstracts
chapter abstract

This chapter starts out by discussing the limitations of traditional conflict management applications in post-Communist world and the ineffectiveness of the global conflict management infrastructure in freezing, as opposed to solving, conflicts in politically divided areas (PDAs). It then presents the Regional Networked Peace Paradigm as a theoretical and policy framework of third party interventions in politically divided areas. The chapter concludes with a discussion on the organization of the book.

1 Regional Theory for Conflict Areas
chapter abstract

Chapter 1 is an overview of the literature on regionalism. It presents a set of characteristics of regionalism in PDAs, with an emphasis on the Balkans and South Caucasus. It then delineates the key debates within regional studies, tailoring them to the specific context of PDAs. The specific debates in regional studies examined here are the importance of territoriality versus functional ties in defining regions; the importance of state versus nonstate actors in region formation processes; the role of conflict or cooperation as a regional marker; and the issue of regional autonomy relative to great-power influence over a region and its member states. One of the main purposes of the next section, then, is to expose students of conflict management and peace and conflict studies to some of the existing fault lines in the regionalism literature within international political economy.

2 Network Theory of Regionalism in Conflict Areas
chapter abstract

This chapter begins by discussing the rationale for the network approach to studying regionalism in PDAs. It then calls for a distinction between networks and networked governance at the regional level by asking, what institutional attributes of networks matter for conflict management processes and outcomes? The section here on network attributes builds the case for the theoretical and policy value of those institutional attributes for the theory and practice of regionalism in PDAs. The following network attributes are specified: patterns of regional network mobilization (top-down versus bottom-up); the level of institutional density of regional networks (high/low); degree of power concentration (high-low); and the level of heteropolarity (high/low). The chapter then profiles several dominant regional forms in terms of these network attributes. The dominant regional forms presented in the chapter include: soft/hard regionalism, security complexes versus regional orders; and nested regionalism.

3 Networking Peaceful Regions
chapter abstract

Chapter 3 builds on the network-based typology of regional arrangements developed in the previous chapter. It juxtaposes the traditional state-centric and country-based concepts of interventions with regional peace-building approaches. It provides a brief review of existing proposals on reforming the global conflict management infrastructure and then presents peace building as a region-building approach, largely drawing from the networked regional peace paradigm developed in this study. Chapter 3 clarifies what are considered to be a "successful outcomes." Departing from peace and conflict studies, it rejects the notion that reconciliation is the ultimate goal for interventions. Instead, at the regional level cultivating institutionalized peace systems for addressing current and future conflicts is considered the ultimate goal for interventions. This chapter examines how networks with particular attributes contribute to particular peace patterns.

4 Three Regional Approaches to Conflict Management
chapter abstract

This chapter is an overview of the ways in which the regional cooperative structures have developed over the years in PDAs other than the Western Balkans and West Europe. Within that overview, the chapter seeks to fulfill three specific objectives. The first is to take a small step toward addressing the "high N problem" by asking, "Where else has it worked?" The second objective of this chapter is to acknowledge and appreciate the diversity of regions and institutionalized forms of cooperation they sustain. The third objective of is to apply the regional theory for conflict areas developed in Chapter 1 to Central America and Southeast Asia.

5 The Western Balkans: A Region on the Move
chapter abstract

This chapter begins by revisiting the main theoretical divisions within the regional studies literature as discussed in Chapter 1, with an emphasis on how the case of the Western Balkans as a PDA supports, challenges, or enriches the existing theoretical debates. It then applies the network approach developed in Chapter 2 to the Balkan case of regionalism. This is followed by an in-depth investigation of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), which has been a key tool in building regional cooperation in the West Balkans.

6 The South Caucasus: Weak States or a Broken Region
chapter abstract

The chapter examines the case of South Caucasus relative to that of the West Balkans. The key objective here is to generate comparative regional theory on politically divided areas (PDAs). In particular, the chapter applies the key theoretical themes from the regional studies literature, as reviewed in Chapter 1, to the South Caucasus. South Caucasus is examined in terms of the extent to which territory versus functional ties as regional markers; whether the regional arrangements are driven by states or nonstate actors; whether conflict or cooperation is the main regional marker; the level of regional autonomy from external powers. The chapter then moves to discuss the key network attributes of the existing, even fragile, regional peace-building infrastructure that exists in the South Caucasus. The chapter concludes with two case studies: the Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus (REC) and the South Caucasus Business and Development Network.

7 Peace-building as Region-building: Theory and Practice
chapter abstract

This chapter begins by describing the regionally networked peace paradigm both in terms of its value as a research agenda as well as a policy framework. The chapter examines the general policy implications for region building as a peace-building strategy, and offers specific policy recommendations for South Caucasus, where region-building processes are embryonic and the structures of regional governance are nearly nonexistent. More specifically, the chapter discusses the analytical value of PDAs as a distinct category, different from conflict or post-conflict regions. It also offers a framework of comparative analysis of PDAs. The network approach developed to study PDAs is then applied to regional organizations that are supporting particular PDAs. The chapter moves to highlight key tensions when regionalism is applied to conflict management both in terms of theory and practice. A discussion on regional social capital concludes the chapter.